I’ve always thought that foldable smartphones were nothing more than a gimmick. Indeed, the 2019 release of the Samsung Galaxy Fold seemingly proved my point. The device was clunky and received negative reviews across the board. But a year later, Samsung released the Galaxy Z Flip and demonstrated that a thoughtful foldable smartphone design was actually possible. Consequently, we’ve seen several reports pointing to Apple researching the feasibility of releasing a foldable iPhone sometime over the next few years. In fact, reputed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes a foldable iPhone may arrive in stores as early as 2023.
In light of the above, we’ve seen several foldable iPhone concept videos and mockups surface over the past year or so. And while these videos are predictably impressive, an old concept video from 2006 dug up by iMore shows off what a foldable iPhone might look like. All the more impressive is that the video in question, which was uploaded to YouTube fifteen years ago, isn’t all that outlandish. Sure, the mockup is a bit clunky, but it’s more realistic than some concept videos we tend to come across these days.
What the first foldable iPhone concept looked like
Bear in mind, this video was released before the original iPhone was even introduced. In other words, whoever put this video together did an incredible job of thinking about where the future of smartphone technology was headed. If you ignore antiquated features like the iPod-inspired click wheel, the concept is pretty sleek.
The full video can be seen below:
What do we know about Apple’s rumored iPhone Flip?
With Apple engineers reportedly working on a foldable iPhone design, rumor has it that Apple’s incarnation will be markedly different from what Samsung is doing. Specifically, leaker Jon Prosser notes that Apple’s foldable iPhone will feature “two separate display panels on a hinge” and “round, stainless steel edges.” With Apple having abandoned rounded edges with the iPhone 12, it remains to be seen if the foldable iPhone design language will be adjusted accordingly.
Additionally, Apple’s rumored foldable iPhone will not feature a notch. Rather, the display will have a small area above the display that will house an assortment of sensors, including Face ID.
“The memes are funny,” Prosser said a few months ago. “But it doesn’t look like they just stuck two phones together,” Prosser added. “Even though they’re two separate panels, when the displays are extended, it looks fairly continuous and seamless.”
The mythical iPhone will likely boast an 8-inch display.
As a final point, it’s worth noting that Apple routinely researches products that don’t ultimately see the light of day. In other words, there’s no guarantee that a foldable iPhone is a sure thing. Still, the fact that Apple keeps filing patents on foldable iPhone technology is certainly intriguing, to say the least.
The iPhone 13 is around the corner
Apple’s foldable iPhone may be mysterious, but the iPhone 13 certainly isn’t. Apple is preparing to unveil its iPhone 13 lineup at a special event next month. From what we’ve seen so far, Apple’s iPhone 13 lineup will consist of four devices. Notably, this will likely be the last we see of the iPhone Mini line. According to reports, the iPhone 12 Mini hasn’t been selling well at all.
One iPhone 13 feature worth mentioning, in particular, is the 120Hz ProMotion display. This feature will bring more fluid scrolling and improved responsiveness to the iPhone display. This feature will likely be exclusive to the iPhone 13 Pro line.
There is also a rumor that the iPhone 13 will feature an Always-On display. This feature will be similar to what is already available on the Apple Watch. Notably, the entire display won’t be visible at all times. Rather, the display will show muted versions of the time, battery icon, and incoming notifications.
The iPhone 13 release date will likely be in September. Reports suggest all four iPhone 13 models will launch in late September.